04
Apr
By Alex Gasser
On April 1, 2011, Ogma, LLC of Longview, Texas (“Ogma”) filed a complaint requesting that the ITC commence an investigation pursuant to Section 337.

The complaint alleges that the following entities (collectively, the “Proposed Respondents”) unlawfully import into the U.S., sell for importation, and/or sell within the U.S. after importation certain motion-sensitive sound effects devices and image display devices and components and products containing same that infringe one or both of U.S. Patent Nos. 6,150,947 (the ‘947 patent) and 5,825,427 (the ‘427 patent) (collectively, the “asserted patents”):
• Activision Blizzard, Inc. of Santa Monica, California
• Apple Inc. of Cupertino, California
• Canon, Inc. of Japan
• Canon USA, Inc. of Lake Success, New York
• Seiko Epson Corporation of Japan
• Epson America, Inc. of Long Beach, California
• HTC Corporation of Taiwan
• HTC America, Inc. of Bellevue, Washington
• InFocus Corp. of Portland, Oregon
• Jakks Pacific, Inc. of Malibu, California
• Kyocera Communications, Inc. of San Diego, California
• LEGO A/S dba LEGO Group of Denmark
• LEGO Systems, Inc. of Enfield, Connecticut
• Lenovo (United States), Inc. of Morrisville, North Carolina
• Lenovo Group Ltd. of China
• Lenovo (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. of Singapore
• Mad Catz, Inc. of San Diego, California
• Motorola Mobility, Inc. of Libertyville, Illinois
• Nintendo Co., Ltd. of Japan
• Nintendo of America, Inc. of Redmond, Washington
• Nyko Technologies, Inc. of Los Angeles, California
• Sanyo North America Corp. of San Diego, California
• Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd. of Japan
• Sanyo Electronic Device (U.S.A.) Corporation of San Diego, California
• Sharp Corporation of Japan
• Sharp Electronics Corporation of Mahwah, New Jersey
• Sony Computer Entertainment America, LLC of Foster City, California
• Sony Corporation of Japan
• Sony Corporation of America of New York, New York
• Sony Electronics Inc. of San Diego, California
• Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications (USA), Inc. of Atlanta, Georgia
• Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB of Sweden
• Vivitek Corporation of San Jose, California
• VTech Electronics North America, LLC of Arlington Heights, Illinois
• VTech Holdings, Ltd. of Hong Kong
• ViewSonic Corp., Ltd. of Walnut, California
• WowWee Group Ltd. of Hong Kong
• WowWee USA, Inc. of Carlsbad, California

According to the complaint, the ‘947 patent discloses a novel sound-effect device that couples a motion-sensitive actuator and a playback component to produce sounds associated with accelerations of the device.  In particular, the complaint states that electronic devices that employ the inventions claimed in the ‘947 patent, such as cellular phones, tablet computers, toys, video game devices and other electronics devices, employ an accelerometer that detects changes in motion and uses such changes to trigger the playing of sound effects.  As to the ‘427 patent, the complaint states that that patent is directed to an improved image display system that optimally produces video images that have aspect ratios intermediate to those of the traditional 4:3 aspect ratio of standard television and the 16:9 ratio of high definition television.

In the complaint, Ogma states that the Proposed Respondents import and sell products that infringe the asserted patents.  The complaint specifically identifies a number of infringing products that are produced by the various Proposed Respondents.

Regarding domestic industry, Ogma states that it and its predecessors-in-interest have made substantial investments in the exploitation of the asserted patents in the U.S., particularly in connection with licensing efforts.  Ogma further states that its licensees have made substantial investments in plant, equipment, labor and capital in the exploitation of the asserted patents.  In particular, Ogma has licensed the ‘947 patent to Source Audio, Inc. (“Source Audio”) and the complaint states that Source Audio’s Hot Hands Motion Controlled Phaser Flanger player practices valid claims of the ‘947 patent, and further that Source Audio has made substantial investments in the U.S. related to its Hot Hands products.  With respect to the ‘427 patent, Ogma states that its predecessor licensed the ‘427 patent to Hewlett-Packard Company (“HP”) and that HP has conducted significant domestic industry activities in the U.S. relating to its LCD monitor products, which practice the ‘427 patent.

As to related litigation, Ogma states that on February 3, 2011, it filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas accusing a number of defendants — many of which are also Proposed Respondents named in the instant ITC complaint — of infringing the ‘947 patent.  Ogma further states that on March 11, 2011, it filed another lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas accusing various other defendants of infringing the ‘947 patent.  Moreover, Ogma states that on March 14, 2011, it filed a third lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas accusing various defendants of infringing the ‘427 patent.  Finally, Ogma states that on March 16, 2011, it filed a fourth lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas accusing various other defendants of infringing the ‘427 patent.  The complaint also states that on December 18, 2006, Ogma’s predecessor filed suit against Hewlett Packard, Inc. and Dell, Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California alleging infringement of the ‘427 patent.  According to the complaint, this case settled after Hewlett Packard, Inc. and Dell, Inc. took licenses to the ‘427 patent.

With respect to potential remedy, Ogma requests that the Commission issue a permanent exclusion order and permanent cease and desist orders directed at the Proposed Respondents.
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